Ask the French. The only answer you’ll get for their favorite cherry dessert will be a cherry clafoutis, with beautiful, generous and flavorful black cherries, such as the burlat variety. Incredibly easy and quick to make, this traditional dessert is so delicious!
Cherry clafoutis is one of those homemade desserts baked with no specific reason as soon as cherries appears on the shelves at markets. It always have a great success. Eaten warm or cold, served alone or with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve had a hard time trying to find THE perfect traditional recipe as clafoutis, in many families such as in mine, is done pouring ingredient without measuring them. Au pif as we say in French (pif is the slang for nose. So this means that your nose – your feelings – helps you to judge if there are enough or if more is needed). After a long investigation, I have not been able to find two identical recipes.
The bases are more or less the same:
- Cherries, of course, but how much? Generously fill the dish I was told.
- Eggs: 2, 3, or even 4
- Sugar, but not too much: the cherries are naturaly gorged with sugar
- Flour, but not too much or mix with some corn flour? The clafoutis should not ends too dense
- Milk, au pif. Or cream but it is early June, summer is coming, so it’s not the ideal moment for having too much calories
- Butter, a little au pif. Again!
There are some differences in: Those who choose cream instead of milk, I talked about that earlier, or use almond powder. I’m not keen on those choices. You can also replace milk by almond milk. Some chefs bake clafoutis in two steps so that cherries are perfectly neatly arranged in regular rows (first they bake a small amount of batter for 10 minutes, then they arrange and fix cherries in it and finally they cover with the remaining batter, without covering the cherries, before baking). Personally, I think it’s beautiful and may be great for photos, but it doesn’t fit with the image of clafoutis which is a traditional, family dish, more rustic that fancy.
Now we come to the main question : with or without pit. I’m firm with this, the answer is WITH, even if it upsets those who find it annoying or inelegant having to spit out the pits. Pits bring taste to the preparation.
After studying all these solutions, I decided a subtile combination that took notes (I didn’t want to write this articles with quantities … au pif). Result: dish emptied in a flash, childhood memories back in mind … it worked well. So here is the recipe. Your turn now.
For the record, the clafoutis comes from French Limousin region and from the verb clafir which means to complete.
Preparation time : 15 mn
Baking time : 40 mn
Quantity : 8 shares
Specific equipment : none
600 gr cherries (weight for whole cherries, including pits), variety according to your taste. if you use sour cherries, add more sugar.
80 gr sugar + optional 1 tablespoon brown sugar
80 gr flour
1 cup milk (250 ml)
40 gr buter, melted + room temperature butter for the mould
1 pinch of salt
First make the batter mixing all ingredients according to the order in the recipe. Grease the pan, add rinced cherries and pour the preparation then bake.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Rince and dry cherries with a clean cloth.
Grease your pan with butter.
Prepare the batter. In a bowl (or using a blender) mix eggs and sugar. Add flour and salt constantly mixing. Pour milk and melted butter and mix again. That’s all. If you follow this order in adding ingredtents and if you mix with a whisk, you won’t get any lumps.
Place cherries in the mold. Pour the batter and bake for about 40 minutes. If you want, 10 minutes before the end, sprinkle a generous tablespoon of brown sugar and increase of 20°F the heat so that it will caramelize a bit. The baking time depends on the size of your mold and the thickness of your filling.
Note that if the cherries you have are a bit acidic, you shall increase the quantity of sugar.
Serve cold or warm, alone or with vanilla ice cream or cherry coulis.